Local Ride Bike Shop is excited to announce that Race the Ridge, a road cycling stage race in Maple Ridge, BC, April 28-29, 2012, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and early bird registration and discounts, start today.
“Organizing Race the Ridge and other bike races in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows over the last decade has definitely been a journey,” said Lyster, who also owns Local Ride Bike Shop in his hometown of Maple Ridge. “But despite the obstacles, like weather snafus and pigs on the course, I’m proud that we have put this community on the cycling map. We enjoy some of the best cycling terrain in the country.”
Although the New Year has just started, Lyster is urging riders to plan ahead and register for the event before January 31 to take advantage of early bird prices. Discount registration for Local Ride Bike Shop’s first race of the season, Barry’s Roubaix on Sunday, April 8, modeled after the grueling spring classic, Paris-Roubaix in France, is also available until January 31.
“If your goal for 2012 is to try road racing, Race the Ridge and Barry’s Roubaix are great target events,” said Lyster. “The courses are unique and challenging and will give you a taste of what the sport is all about.”
Barry’s Roubaix is special because of its inclusion of roughly 4km of the scenic Pitt Meadows Dyke System in its 10km course. The gravel surface adds an extra variable to the mostly flat loop, which has a history of strong winds and otherwise inclement weather.
“Last year’s [Barry’s] Roubaix was a race for the truly tough,” said Lyster. “It was incredible how much it rained that day. But these things are what make road races exciting. And who knows? Maybe it will be sunny and warm this year.”
Race the Ridge, Lyster’s showcase event, will feature a full three-stage race for Cat 1/2, 3/4, and Youth categories, while a Novice stage race will include two stages: an individual time trial and a criterium. In true stage racing tradition, the rider with the lowest cumulative time after completing the final leg is crowned champion.
The action will kick off on the morning of Saturday, April 28 with the Thornhill road race. Riders will once again see competitors challenge the rolling 10km course, using strategy, smarts, and physical strength as they vie for the win over multiple laps of this demanding circuit on the beautiful rural roads of Maple Ridge.
The day will continue into the evening with Stage 2, a rolling 21.5km out-and-back individual time trial against the clock in Golden Ears Provincial Park. The time trial will also be open as a single event to those who do not wish to tackle an entire stage race just yet.
The final race will decide the 2012 Race the Ridge champions in the heart of downtown Maple Ridge on Sunday. The Town Core Criterium is arguably the most spectacular race of the weekend. This fast-paced, aggressive battle on an 800m course in the heart of downtown Maple Ridge will see riders taking risks in order to come out on top in the multiple-lap contest.
For Local Ride Bike Shop’s 2012 events, Lyster is continuing to emphasize the sport’s development with youth and kid’s races. In addition to a free fun kid’s race, Race the Ridge and Barry’s Roubaix both have U17 youth categories that will challenge Canada’s future cycling stars.
“I have three young daughters, and it’s important for me to help grow and sustain the sport so that they will be able to enjoy cycling for years to come,” said Lyster.